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Developing Approval Cycle

In general, developing a property in Singapore will require regulatory approvals from Urban Redevelopment Authority (for planning approval) and Building and Construction Authority (for building plan approval, structural plan approval, etc).

The development approval circle can be summarised in a simple flow diagram as shown below:

Planning Approval (from URA)

Building Plan Approval (from BCA)

Structural Plan Approval (from BCA)

Permit to Carry Out Building Works (from BCA)

Temporary Occupation Permit/Certificate of Statutory Completion (from BCA)

Planning Approval

To ensure orderly development of property in accordance to the intentions stipulated in the statutory master plans and the prevailing control parameters, the property developer is required to seek planning approval from URA.

You can submit a formal planning submission yourself for your proposed development. There are many submission requirements and planning guidelines that you have to follow for your planning submission. These requirements can be found in Development Control Matters and Development Control Parameters for Residential Development .

Alternatively, you can also engage a Qualified Person (QP) to make the submission for you. Your QP may also lodge the proposal plans using the Plan Lodgment Scheme for new erection / reconstruction of onelanded house if the necessary criteria are met. Under this scheme, approval from URA is not required. Once the plans are lodged, the proposal is deemed approved.

For more information about submitting of plans for URA's approval, please refer to EDA Submission Guidelines .

If you are redeveloping your landed property, please refer to Redeveloping Your Landed Property for more information.

URA will evaluate every accepted application based on the prevailing planning control guidelines. You can expect a decision within 4 weeks from the submission of the application. A Provisional/Written Permission (WP) with a 2-year validity period will be issued if the application complies with all the parameters.

In addition, you will need to apply for a Housing Developer Licence if your development has more than 4 housing units regardless of whether they are for used by the owner or for sales to the public.


Building Plan and Structural Plan Approval

After URA's approval, you will need to seek approval from BCA for

  • Building Plan
  • Structural Plan
  • Civil Defense Shelter Plan

Essentially, Building Plan is the architectural drawing of your building while the Structural Plan describes building's structural design. Separately, you are also required to submit the architectural and structural design of the CD shelter of your house for approval. BCA needs to check these plans to ensure building safety and compliance to the rules and regulations in the Building Control Acts.

As stipulated by the Building Control Act, building plan is to be prepared and submitted by a qualified person (QP). In the process of getting the building plan approval, the QP will also consult other government agencies and obtain their clearances. For example, he will consult:

  • LTA on matters concerning the repositioning of access and widening of roads.
  • ENV on matters concerning sewerage and drainage.
  • NParks on the felling of trees if your property is within the Tree Conservation Area.

After the building plan approval, the building works must commence within 24 months from the date of approval ; otherwise the approval will automatically lapse.

For more information about submitting of plans for BCA's approval, please refer to the ' Guidelines on Submission of Applications to Commissioner of Building Control '.


Permit To Carry Out Building Works

Before you commence building works, you need to submit an application to BCA for the 'Permit to Carry Out Building Works'. BCA will only grant the permit if the Structural Plan submitted earlier has been approved.

The Building Control Act requires the qualified persons and builder to be appointed by the applicant. It also requires the qualified person for the structural works to appoint a site supervisor to help him to supervise the structural works. After the commencement of building works, the QP shall also submit progress report of the building works at regular intervals to the BCA.


Temporary Occupation Permit/Certificate of Statutory Completion

When the building works are completed, the applicant and the Qualified Person may apply to the BCA for a Certificate of Statutory Completion (CSC) or a Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP). The building can only be occupied after a CSC or TOP is granted.

TOP is a temporary permit to allow owner to occupy the building when the key regulatory requirements are met as it may take sometime to obtain the CSC. However, application may be made directly for a CSC when all the requirements have been complied with. Your QP should be in a good position to advise you on this.



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